Williams Orders Pipe for 906 MMcf/d Expansion of Kern

In an effort to begin expansion of its Kern River natural gas pipeline to more than double what is currently transported, Williams reported that it has ordered more than 700 miles of 36-inch and 42-inch pipe so that the increased capacity can be in place by May 2003. The company said the expansion will provide 906 MMcf/d of additional transportation capacity from Wyoming to California.

"We're on schedule and moving ahead with plans to begin construction next June,'' said Michael Dunn, project manager of the Kern River Expansion Project. "This is a significant milestone as we move forward."

The expansion is expected to cost more than $1 billion and will loop approximately 716 miles of the existing Kern River system, bringing the total amount of gas transported to approximately 1.7 Bcf/d.

Williams said it plans to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in early August. The company also said it must still secure the necessary environmental and regulatory approvals, and negotiate rights of way.

"Over the past three months, we've conducted numerous open houses and meetings with agencies throughout Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California in preparation for the filing," said Kirk Morgan, director of business development for Kern River. "We are confident we'll meet our projected in-service date."

Williams' Kern River Gas Transmission currently operates a 922-mile pipeline that delivers Rocky Mountain and Canadian gas to markets in California, Nevada and Utah. The system has a design capacity of 835 MMcf/d.

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